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Nathaniel D. Hale died Tuesday at age 41, rattling the hip hop community. “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb,” Snoop Dogg Tweeted after Hale’s sudden passing. “I love u buddy luv. U will always b wit me 4ever n a day.”
So who is Hale, better known on stage as Nate Dogg?
1. He’s been performing with Snoop Dogg since he was young.
In 1991, the Long Beach, Calif. native formed the rap group 213 — a reference to the local area code — with then-unknown pals Snoop Dogg and Warren G after serving a three-year stint in the Marines. The group’s demo eventually made its way to Dr. Dre, who liked Nate’s sound and recruited him to contribute to his classic solo debut, 1992’s The Chronic.
2. He’s been nominated for four Grammys.
After his work with Dre, Nate collaborated with Warren G on the legendary track “Regulate.” It hit No. 2 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles chart and also earned him his first Grammy nod in 1995. He received a second nomination in 2001 for providing a hook to the Dre-Snoop track “The Next Episode”; a third in 2002 for singing on Ludacris‘ “Area Codes” and another notice in 2007 for his work on Eminem‘s “Shake That.”
3. He’s collaborated with everyone from Tupac to Mariah Carey.
Though he released his share of solo albums, he was better known for his countless cameos on tracks by Mariah Carey, Eve, Nelly and even Mark Ronson. 50 Cent recalled working with him on the 2003 track “21 Questions”: “I wrote the chorus to ‘21 Questions,'” he Tweeted. “I needed Nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard.”
4. He had been struggling with health issues
His lawyer Mark Geragos told the Associated Press that the performer died as a result of complications from two strokes he suffered in recent years. The Long Beach Press Telegram, which first reported the performer’s passing, says Nate had one in 2007 that left him partially paralyzed and another the following year. Still, Rod McGrew, his close friend and manager, tells TMZ the death was unexpected and that Nate had been making significant progress in his recovery. McGrew said Nate had gotten his memory back and was fully alert and aware up until his death. “We appreciate the enormous outpouring of response from all over the world,” McGrew said in a statement. We greatly appreciate that and thank everyone for their prayers and support. We know that Nate will be hanging out with his good friends 2Pac and Biggie.”
5. He leaves behind a lasting legacy.
Hours after his death, performers took to Twitter to pay tribute. Tweeted Snoop: “I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan.” Rapper and collaborator Daz Dillinger added, “R.I.P. TO MY HOMEBOY NATE DOGG DPGC DOGG POUND GANGSTA 4 LIFE.” 50 Cent Tweeted, “GOD BLESS HIM R.I.P he meant a lot to west coast hiphop. Iv always been a fan of it.” Said The Game: “I lost a friend. Been here before. Tears. Memories. One day someone will lose “US” as well. LIVING until that day comes is our only option.”
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